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Colombian police rescue 9-year old kidnapped by leftist rebels

Colombian police rescue 9-year old kidnapped by leftist rebels

An elite anti-kidnapping force has rescued a 9-year old boy who was snatched seven months ago by leftist rebels, authorities said Wednesday.
Police freed the boy Tuesday in the city of Neiva after several months of investigation, said Col. Jorge Armando Molina, head of police in the southern province of Huila. One person was arrested in connection with his abduction.
The kidnappers "had won the boy's trust to such a degree that they would send him alone on errands to the corner store," Molina said.
The boy, whose identity was not revealed, was abducted May 21 from his parents' farm in Western Colombia by armed men claiming to be members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, said Gen. Orlando Paez Baron, operating commander for Colombia's national police force.
In an August "proof of life" phone call from the boy to his parents, captors demanded a US$50,000 (euro34,727) ransom for his safe return _ an amount his family was unable to pay.
Images of the boy being reunited with his crying parents on Christmas day were broadcast Wednesday on Colombia's RCN television station.
"I was enclosed. The food was awful, and I was only allowed to eat only once a day," the boy told Bogota's El Tiempo newspaper in an interview published Wednesday. "They insulted me and said they were going to kill me."
Some 2,567 children and teens have been kidnapped in Colombia in the past 12 years, including 60 in 2007, according to Pais Libre, a foundation dedicated to supporting kidnapping victims.
Abductions have fallen steadily since President Alvaro Uribe took office in 2002, spending heavily on troops to hunt down rebels and other illegal armed groups. Even so, Colombia's kidnapping rate is still among the world's highest.


Updated : 2021-04-17 23:33 GMT+08:00